World View: Tensions Grow Between Turkey and Kurds in Syria

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Tensions grow between Turkey and Kurds in Syria
  • Change in Georgia's leadership presents new problems in relations with Russia and Nato

Tensions grow between Turkey and Kurds in Syria

Syrian conflict (AP)
Syrian conflict (AP)

The firing between Turkish troops and Syrian troops across the Turkey/Syria border may well be a potential war, but it's not the worst war that Turkey is worried about. There has been a low-level conflict almost continuously since 1984 between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), whose goal is an independent state of Kurdistan. Since July alone, the PKK have launched terrorist attacks that have killed at least 112 Turks, including 99 from the army. Because Turkey has supported the opposition to Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, and is hosting over 100,000 Syrian refugees in camps in Turkey, al-Assad has freed the Kurds in eastern Syria to govern themselves and take whatever action against Syria that they wish. This has energized the Kurdish separatists, and if al-Assad finally steps down, then the conflict between the Turks and Kurds will still be unsettled, and could spiral into a major war. Spiegel and McClatchy

Change in Georgia's leadership presents new problems in relations with Russia and Nato

When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, it took control of two Georgian provinces, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and has discussed the possibility of either absorbing them into Russia or recognizing them as independent nations. A recent election has brought about the defeat of Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian leader who had fought the Russians in 2008, and the new leader Bidzina Ivanishvili has expressed the desire to move away from the extremely bitter relations that came about in the aftermath of the conflict between the two countries. However, there are two major issues standing in the way of reconciliation. The first issue is that the new Georgian leadership has said that relations with Russia will not be normalized unless Abkhazia and South Ossetia are returned to Georgia, something that is not going to happen. The second issue is that the new Georgian leadership, like the old leadership, wants Georgia to become a member of Nato, something that Russia strongly opposes. Foreign Policy Journal


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